Difference between DLP and LCD Projectors

Key Difference: LCDs work using liquid crystals placed between two polarizing filters and two transparent electrodes. DLP uses a series of mirrors placed on a chip, which work as pixels. LCDs are skinnier, consume more power and has a better viewing angle compared to DLP. Whereas, DLPs are cheaper, have a wider color gamut and have a longer lifespan. LCD’s can suffer from burn-in, while DLPs suffer from a “rainbow effect”.

LCD Projectors

Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) are two types of display technologies that are used in projectors. Almost all projectors today use either one of these technologies, and they can also be found in TVs and computer monitors.

LCDs work using liquid crystals placed between two polarizing filters and two transparent electrodes.  When a current passes through, the liquid crystals act as pixels, either blocking the light or allowing it to pass through. Liquid crystals do not emit their own light and hence require an external lighting system. In an LCD projector light is sent from a metal-halide lamp through a prism and a series of filters to three different glass panels (one red, one blue and one green), which decides if the light is allowed or blocked.

On the other hand, DLP uses a series of mirrors placed on a chip, which work as pixels. DLP is developed by Texas Instrument in 1987. The DLP chip comprises around 2 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors and is combined with a digital video or graphic signal, a light source, a projection lens, and a color filter. In order to create an image, the DLP chip mounted with the mirrors is either tilted towards the light source (ON) or away from it (OFF). The rapid tilting creates a light or dark pixel on the surface and the color is added using a color wheel. This technology is most commonly used in digital cinema projection.

Performance wise there are a few differences between the two, LCDs are skinnier, consume more power and has a better viewing angle compared to DLP. Whereas, DLPs are cheaper, have a wider color gamut and have a longer lifespan. LCD’s can suffer from 

DLP Projectors

burn-in, while DLPs suffer from a “rainbow effect”. The rainbow effect is when a color streak is caused across the screen when a person looks away from the screen and then looks back swiftly. This is due to the spinning color wheel and is eliminated with the use of the three-chip projectors.

 

LCD

DLP

Thickness

Skinner compared to DLP

Thicker compared to LCD

Power consumption

Consumes more power compared to DLP

Consumes less power as mirrors do not need extra powering

Screen Refresh Rate

Less than LED

Higher than LCD

Screen glare

Glare is minimum

Glare is minimum

Running Temperature

Hotter compared to DLP

Cooler

Burn-in

No burn-in occurs; but burn-outs can occur

No burn-ins can occur

Dead pixels

Can occur

Are very rare

Viewing angle

Up to 165 degrees

Less than 40 degrees

Contrast Ratio

15000:1

2000:1 or higher

Life span

60,000 hours

80,000 hours

Black level

Gray to Dark Gray

Dark Gray to Gray

Weight

Lighter compared to DLP

Heavier compared to LCD

Uses

Computer monitors, laptop screens, TV screens and cell phone screens

Projectors, TV screens

Price

Expensive compared to DLP

Cheaper compared to LCD

Benefits

Panels weigh less than plasma; use less energy; light; thinner; emits less electromagnetic radiation; no bleeding or smearing

Smooth jitter-free images; Perfect geometry and excellent grayscale linearity achievable; no screen burn-in; Less "screen-door effect" than with LCD projectors; offers affordable 3D projection display; longer lifespan; wider color gamut

Limitations

Slower refresh rate; limited viewing angle; blacks are brighter; susceptible to burn-out and image persistence; dead or stuck pixels may appear; smearing or ghosting can appear; loss of contrast in higher temperatures; poor display in sunlight

Rainbow effect; thicker; replacement lamp/light bulbs are expensive; dithering noise; error-diffusion artifacts; lag in gaming response times; reduced viewing angle; may use more electricity

Image Courtesy: ustudy.in, dlp.com

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